Four-Leaf Clover Facts

Most people absolutely hate clover in their yard. It tends to be invasive and bring critters (like rabbits) in to feed on their sweet flowers. Personally I like both clover and rabbits, so here is my homage to the four-leaf clover on this St.  Patrick’s Day!

Clover is one of the favorite foods of rabbits. Having clover growing in your yard will surely attract them.

There is only one true clover that is considered lucky, but other types of plants that look similar to the clover have been embraced by those who celebrate St Patrick’s Day as a symbol of the lucky clover.  Oxalis is a traditional replacement for Trifolium repens as a lucky symbol.

There are several types of plants that look similar to, but are not considered to be lucky as the Trifolium four-leaf clover.

Four-leaf clovers are a traditional three-leaved clover (Trifolium repens) that have been affected by a somatic mutation of genes.  A somatic mutation is a mutation that occurs in the seed (in humans after conception) that affects the somatic cells. Somatic cells are cells that have the ability to become any part of the plant (or our body) depending on the chemical instructions they receive.

It has been said that there are as many as one four-leaf clover to 40 regular clovers, and as few as one in 10,000 regular clovers. The abundance in of four-leaf clovers in  certain are as  would depend on the amount of generations growing there and climatic conditions.

Fun Four-leaf clover facts:

White clover is the common name for Trifolium repens.

Trifolium repens can be identified by the yellowish-green line towards the center of the plant.

There is no such thing as a Shamrock plant. Shamrock is an Irish derived word meaning “little clover”.

According to Irish legend, four-leaf clovers are considered lucky because St. Patrick used the Shamrock’s three leaves to teach the pagans about Christianity, with each leaf representing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The 4th leaf, he said, represents God’s Grace, granted upon the clover’s finder.

Five-leafed clovers are considered more lucky than four-leaf clovers.

The record of leaves found on a clover is 21. This clover was grown in Japan.

The record of the most leaves on a clover is 21. It was grown by Shiego Obara in Japan.

Abraham Lincoln always carried a four-leaf clover. He failed to be carrying one the night he was assassinated at Ford’s Theater.

Napoleon Bonaparte was saved by a four-leaf clover. A bullet narrowly missed his head when he suddenly bent down to pick one.

Certain companies have figured out how to produce four-leaf clovers for sale. They use a genetically engineered ingredient to cause the mutation.

The largest collection of four-leaf clovers is held by a single collector is 160,000.

Lots of four-leaf clovers have been to space. Several of the original Apollo astronauts carried them for luck.

After today, if you feel the need to get rid of your clover there are products to use that are safe for grass. Ortho and Bonide make products specifically for killing clover.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!